What the Foundation does



  • UIT: When asked the Foundation helps tribal peoples to revive their own threatened or destroyed traditional practices of shamanism within the Urgent Indigenous Assistance program. The program is made up of several distinct parts that accomplish program goals, and importantly, Field Associates, a group of anthropologists and cultural experts, who work with indigenous groups around the world. The Foundation has dispatched training teams and individuals to various tribal groups. They visit for as short a time as possible to provide basic shamanic tools, so that the native volunteers can subsequently get most of their shamanic knowledge directly from the spirits as it is typical in shamanism. Among the groups to which such assistance has been lent are the Inuit (Eskimo), the Sami (Lapp) and several Native American tribes in the northeastern United States.

  • Cross-Cultural research and Experimentation. Quality research is necessary for quality teaching. Basis of FSS teachings is crosscultural research on shamanic knowledge and practices in hundreds of the world's cultures to provide authentic and time-tested information. Michael Harner's research work, aided by graduate students and the Foundation's staff has made it possible to rediscover or recreate practices long thought to be lost. One typical example is the MONOR project - Mapping of Nonordinary Reality.

  • Training Westerners in Shamanism and Shamanic Healing: The Foundation is working to develop a broad range of educational and training opportunities founded on fundamental and near-universal shamanic principles and practices that will help revive shamanism and shamanic healing around the planet. FSS currently offers 203 courses to approximately 5000 individuals annually.

  • Living Treasures of Shamanism Program: This started in 1991 in conjunction with the Field Associates Program. Part of the responsibility of the Field Associates has been to locate potential Living Treasures for the Foundation. So the Foundation has searched for outstanding indigenous shamans in jeopardized conditions to help them preserve their knowledge and practice through FSS recognition and lifetime stipends.

  • Developing Practical Health Applications and Measuring Health Impact: The Foundation has investigated and refined a variety of shamanic healing methods to help deal with illness and other problems of Western life. Significant findings became incorporated in the training offered to medical doctors, psychotherapists and others through the Foundation's educational programs. A critical part of this work has been accomplished through the Shamanism and Health Program (SHP) where the Foundation has engaged in scientific research in a progressing effort to communicate the value of shamanic methods to the mainstream medical community. Another example has been Harner Method Shamanic Counseling (HMSC), which combines classic shamanic divination methods with systemic and technological innovations to help persons deal with the stress of daily life.